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A Catechism for Girls and Boys

Part II: Questions about The Ten Commandments

Disclaimer: I believe Christ fulfilled the Sabbath and there isn’t such a thing as a “Christian Sabbath.” I’m not sure how I’d change this question if I were to use this catechism.

Do you agree with this question and answer? If not, would you change it? How?

50. Q. What day of the week is the Christian Sabbath?
      A. The first day of the week, called the Lord’s Day.

(Click through to read scriptural proof.)

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Round the Sphere Again: Reformation Day

Still a Sticking Point
Scott M. Manetsch points out, among other important things, that “the definition of justification presented in the [Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification] is a decidedly Catholic one” (Themelios). It breaks my heart that so many so-called Protestants don’t truly understand the doctrine justification when our confidence in our right standing with God depends on it.

Last Minute Get Up
Need a quick costume? No worries (Resurgence).

Responding in Sacred Song
The Reformation and Music (Michael Milton).


Sunday's Hymn: Jesus, Thou Joy of Loving Hearts

Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts,
Thou Fount of life, Thou Light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts,
We turn unfilled to Thee again.

Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;
Thou savest those that on Thee call;
To them that seek Thee Thou art good,
To them that find Thee all in all.

We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread,
And long to feast upon Thee still;
We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead,
And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.

Our restless spirits yearn for Thee,
Wherever our changeful lot is cast;
Glad when Thy gracious smile we see,
Blessed when our faith can hold Thee fast.

O Jesus, ever with us stay,
Make all our moments calm and bright;
Chase the dark night of sin away,
Shed over the world Thy holy light.

Ber­nard of Clair­vaux

Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.


Saturday's Old Post: Christ's Active and Passive Obedience and Our Justification

Since I usually don’t have time for blogging on Saturday, I’ve decided to occasionally feature a favorite old post from the archives. This might be the post I like best of all the ones I’ve written in the seven years I’ve been blogging. It was originally posted in July of 2007.

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness 
My beauty are, my glorious dress….

(Nicolaus Zinzindorf, 1700-1760,
translated by John Wesley, 1703-1791)

Recently, everywhere I look I see the mention of the active and passive obedience of Christ, and what (or whether) both aspects of Christ’s obedience contribute to our justification. The concepts of the active and passive obedience of Christ were included in the last three questions from the Westminster Larger Catechism that I’ve posted, although those particular terms weren’t used. But the ideas are there, with the catechism clearly teaching that both the active and passive obedience of Christ are necessary for the justification of sinners. And one of the books I read and reviewed recentlyBy Faith Alone, dealt a bit with the active and passive obedience of Christ and whether both are necessary grounds for our justification. So I’ve been thinking about the two kinds of obedience and what they contributed to our justification, and if I’m thinking about it, you know I’m going to write about it.

Passive Obedience
Christ’s passive obedience refers to his bearing the curse of the law for us in his death on the cross. The word passive as used here does not mean that Christ’s sacrificial death was simply something done to him, and that he played no active role in it. (We know that’s not the case, for Jesus tells us clearly in John 10:18 that he laid down his life of his own accord and authority, making him an active participant in his own death.) Rather, the term passive in passive obedience comes to us from the Latin obedentia passiva, in which passiva refers to Christ’s suffering. You’ve seen the pass root used like this elsewhere, as in the term passion used to refer to refer to Christ’s suffering and death.

Christ’s passive obedience—his obedience in bearing the curse of the law for us—is the basis upon which our sins are forgiven. His death was an atoning death, and he was our substitute. Our sins were placed upon Jesus Christ on the cross and he endured the penalty for our sin in our place. This payment of our penalty through Christ’s suffering and death on our behalf is the reason we can be pardoned.

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Round the Sphere Again: Apologetics

Answering Objections
A collection of Common Objections to Christianity from Skeptics answered by Steve Hays. Like, for instance,

How can it be just to send people to hell when they have never had the opportunity to believe in Jesus?

No one goes to hell for disbelieving in Jesus. Disbelief is an aggravating factor. But the hellbound are already lost. Refusing the gospel isn’t what renders them damnable.

In Christian theology, nobody can be saved unless he knows and accepts the gospel. This doesn’t mean nobody can be damned unless he knows and rejects the gospel. Rather, to be lost is the default condition of sinners. To be lost is not a result of spurning the gospel. To the contrary, it’s because sinners are lost in the first place that they desperately need to be saved.

From Monergism.com.

Presuppositional Apologetics
Listen to Dustin Segers and Sye Ten Bruggencate engage two atheists using presuppositional apologetics. The whole thing is 3 hours long, but you’ll get the idea if you listen to the first hour or so.